Author Records ‘50s Era and a Changing America in New Memoir

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With well-kept American values, Jody Wood’s ‘You’re Going to Boarding School’ has a well-honed internal compass that sees the real America in changing times.

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With the well-kept values that form the bedrock of American morality; the homespun, pragmatic wisdom of the pioneer spirit; and the still unchanged sense of Americans belonging to an Edenic youth, author Jody Wood records the coming of technology and the slow awakening of American youth to a globalized outlook during Eisenhower’s presidency. Life becomes a post-World War II American romance for Wood’s readers in the new memoir “You’re Going to Boarding School”.

Upbeat and witty, Jody Wood’s recollections form an engrossing narrative that will find Wood becoming, without his planning it, the de facto voice of his generation. From being named “Jody” from a popular film of the era, to the family’s having their first television, Wood’s tales are told in the warm twilight of an age that, except for the most rural, unchanging parts of the country, has truly passed in America. This memoir has John Steinbeck’s vastly-detailed sense of America as a distinct culture, one that has turned philosophically away from its European roots to water its unique new growth in truly different soil.

You’re Going to Boarding School” starts with Wood’s Californian childhood. Cosmopolitan practices such as cigarette smoking had infiltrated the American idyll. It progresses to the Ozark Academy in northwest Alabama, where the majority of the narrative unfolds. Wood has fostered his memories of the fifties to such a keen sense of loss and nostalgia that he has eventually happened upon the nexus of change in his era. It has created an internal compass that defines the real America, and that is the lesson Wood and his readers learn from his book.
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About the Author
Jody Wood was born in Bakersfield, Calif., in 1949 and was raised on a cotton farm near Shafter. While in grade school, he learned to work in the fields alongside Mexican farmworkers, hoeing weeds, irrigating, driving tractors, and picking cotton by hand. During high school, he attended a boarding school named Ozark Academy in Gentry, Ark., from 1963 to 1967. While there, he worked twenty hours a week at a cabinet shop, earning enough money to pay his own tuition. At Bakersfield Junior College, he earned an AA degree in horticulture (plant science) while working part time at a cabinet shop. While raising a family of four children at the age of twenty-four, he started his own cabinet shop in Atascadero, Calif., building custom cabinets all over San Luis Obispo County. At twenty-five, he got his general contractor’s license, sold the cabinet shop, and began building new homes and contracting finished carpentry. In 1980, he moved back to Bakersfield to work for ten years as a Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer in Kern County at Bakersfield, Taft, and California City. He trained his three sons in construction and helped send his daughter to San Diego State University. After serving a term on the 2010 Madera County Grand Jury, he is now a single retired grandfather of four, living in Oakhurst, California, near Yosemite National Park.

You’re Going to Boarding School * by Jody Wood
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 120 pages; 978-1-4836-8749-0
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 120 pages; 978-1-4836-8750-6
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4836-8751-3

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